Listen Up Pre-Meds

When I was an undergrad, I tutored freshman physics and calculus. My alma mater, which I’ll hereafter refer to as Big Time University, had hordes of students that were trying to get into veterinary and medical school. Probably 50% of the people in the introductory science courses were made up of pre-med students. The majority of them seemed to have no real interest in learning the science – they just wanted to get through the classes. Every day, I heard students come by the tutoring office and say “Why do we need to learn this stuff? It’s not relevant to medical school!”.

Here’s an interesting take on that particular question by an MS2 who realized (belatedly) that much of the physiology in the body is driven by the principles of physics and organic chemistry. I can definitely see his point – my understanding of biology has been greatly enhanced because I see the underlying physical principles which are at work in the cell. It’s really amazing how some basic physical principles can govern so much of biology and chemistry. I can’t imagine trying to understand things like the Electron Transport Chain without a solid grounding in electromagnetics. To all you pre-meds out there, if you’re stuck in Physics 101 right now and pounding your head against the wall, trust me…it will all be worth it eventually, if you stick with it and strive to understand what’s really going on.


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